1 Corinthians 15:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 15:17, NIV: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17, ESV: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17, KJV: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17, NASB: and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17, NLT: And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17, CSB: And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

What does 1 Corinthians 15:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This passage counters a misguided idea among some of the Christians in Corinth: that Christians will not be physically, bodily resurrected from the dead. Paul has followed the idea to its logical conclusions, an approach that would likely have been appreciated in the Greek culture that valued clear thinking, speaking, and logic.

If nobody is physically resurrected from the dead, Paul has written, that would mean Christ Himself was not raised from the dead. Since Christ's resurrection is essential to the gospel—the message that we can be forgiven for sin by God's grace and through faith in Christ's death and resurrection—then the faith the Corinthians had placed in Christ would clearly be futile, useless, pointless. The gospel is either true, or it is not—and the resurrection of Christ is a foundational part of the "good news." Unique among religious ideas, Christianity ties all its truth to a single, real-world event; "blind faith" or self-deception have never been compatible with the biblical ideal.

Far worse, if Christ is not raised, all those who have trusted in Christ would still be in their sins. That is, their sins would remain unforgiven by God, since they believed in a Savior who was no Savior at all. Without forgiveness of their sins, they would remain separated from God with no hope of salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Paul follows the implications of that in the verses to follow.